The universe of ravenous zombie zeitgeist devourer The Walking Dead got a major shock a few weeks ago, when creator Robert Kirkman announced that he was abruptly (or as abrupt as an 193-issue comic can be) bringing his long-running series to an end. When asked if the TV series based on Kirkman’s comics might be facing a similar bow anytime soon, AMC reportedly chuckled to itself, rolled its eyes, and politely suggested that everyone asking was out of their goddamn minds.
“I’m not saying the show will go 20 seasons, but I’m not saying it won’t,” president of network programming David Madden told journalists when asked about the possibility, noting that the show has long since moved away from its source material, and also, what the hell is wrong with you people, because this thing still makes so much fucking money. “Once Game of Thrones is technically off the air,” Madden added, “It’s the No. 2 show on TV. You don’t sneeze at it being No. 2 out of the three billion shows that are on TV.”
Indeed, while the show is no longer the unstoppable ratings juggernaut that it once was—having reported some of its least-watched premieres and finales to date over the last few years—it does maintain a certain un-rot-able consistency, even in the face of big changes like the departure of series star Andrew Lincoln during the most recent season. “The episode that followed his departure dropped 1 percent from the previous episode,” Madden noted, presumably in the voice of someone now responsible for a TV show that people will apparently watch regardless of who’s in it. (And also Norman Reedus.)
The Walking Dead confirmed its latest casting shake-up at Comic-Con recently, with Danai Gurira reiterating that she’d be taking her katana and going home sometime during the show’s upcoming 10th season. Which will be sad, but hey, there will still be zombies, and AMC is happy to continue to tap into our apparently unceasing hunger for those.